0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

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scarletmanuka
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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby scarletmanuka » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:00 am UTC

cjdrum wrote:I've probably got this all wrong (I haven't seen LoTR in a while), but didn't Gandalf possess the Ring for a brief period of time? Or does it not count, because he never wore it, or it was in the envelope the whole time...

No, he didn't. Much like Galadriel, he refused to take it despite the temptation.

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quadmaster
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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby quadmaster » Sun May 08, 2011 2:11 pm UTC

If anyone here has read Homestuck and is interested, we're starting a chart for it here.
It promises to be a bit of a challenge :)
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snowyowl
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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby snowyowl » Thu May 12, 2011 5:31 pm UTC

quadmaster wrote:If anyone here has read Homestuck and is interested, we're starting a chart for it here.
It promises to be a bit of a challenge :)

Homestuck's time travel is far more confusing than Primer's. Count me in!
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TrueNarnian
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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby TrueNarnian » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:11 pm UTC

Can you do one for "Back to the Future?"

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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby I Am Raven » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:16 pm UTC

Shelob seems to be missing.
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DennisL
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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby DennisL » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:34 am UTC

I would freaking love to see one of these charts for the TV version of Game of Thrones, updated after each season

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mathmannix
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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby mathmannix » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:00 pm UTC

TrueNarnian wrote:Can you do one for "Back to the Future?"


OK, here's my attempt.
BTTF.png


A few notes on what I did/could not show (spoilered for length):
Spoiler:
(1) Because Back to the Future is the story of Marty McFly, it consistently follows him around, not the DeLorean. Therefore, the several instances where he is not one of the time travellers (Doc in the future, Biff, Doc in the past) are not well-documented. This chart is the best I can do.

(1a) Example: When Doc travels to the future at the end of Part I / immediately prior to Part II, it is not clear exactly where (when) he went. His intended destination at the end of Part I was "30 years", so it is presumed by many (including me) that he traveled exactly 30 years forward, from early morning, Saturday 26 October 1985 to early morning, Monday 26 October 2015. He then learned the recent history of the McFly family: the future scenes in Part II take place on Wednesday 21 October 2015, less than a week prior. He may have made several jumps around in 2015 (or later!) but what is known is this: (a) he got a hover-conversion for the car, got the Mr. Fusion installed, went to a "rejuvenation clinic", and acquired (presumably, as opposed to invented in the past or present) the other devices he uses in Part II - the "neuralizer", a camera/scope device, snazzy 2015 clothes for himself and Marty, etc.; (b) he did some recon, gathering newspapers, and noted the precise location of Marty McFly, Jr. on 26 October so that he could be intercepted (Doc says "precisely on schedule" when he sees him); (c) he somehow filled a briefcase(!) full of money from different historic eras, at least including Civil War and World War I time periods; this past money would be difficult (or expensive!) to come by today (or in 1985); it would be far easier to acquire with (reckless) time travel; (d) at some point, he traveled to a few days (or weeks) before 21 October, when he dropped off Einstein in the suspended-animation kennel. (This jump I have shown.) So, he made at least one jump within 2015, but possibly many more, and he may have gone much farther into the future.

(1b) Example: When Old (2015) Biff stole the time machine, all we know is that he travelled to Saturday 12 November 1955 to give himself the machine. (I always speculated that he saw that date in some history log of time jumps made, although it wouldn't have been the immediate "where you last were" date. However, then Doc could have just checked the log himself later to see when Biff went. We probably have to go with Doc's speculation that it was either a "junction point for the entire space-time continuum," or else just "an amazing coincidence.") Biff could have traveled to many different times in history, and - as he is not shown using the machine in 1955 to either arrive or depart - he may have arrived earlier and/or stayed later than this date. However, I have assumed in my chart that he spent a small amount of time, maybe an hour, in the past.

(2) I have left off the very ending (as well as, naturally, the canonically questionable animated series and video game.) Thus, I show Einstein remaining in 1985, and Doc in 1885. Why? Because the ending just raises more questions than it answers! (Warning: TV Tropes!)

(2a) How (and why!) did Doc invent a flying, time-travelling train? There are several problems with this. OK, obviously it took him 10 years or so, and he's built a time machine before so it shouldn't be as hard the second time. And if he really wants to, he can dig up the DeLorean buried in the mine in order to reverse-engineer the flying parts, etc., and then re-bury it later, but that really runs the risk of creating a paradox. He must have somehow made a time machine (without even rudimentary electronics existing), then traveled to the future (21st century) to get parts to make the train fly. But why would he even bother, if his last orders were to destroy the time machine? If all he cared about was giving Marty the picture, then he could have buried it, or written another letter or something. Anything else destroys his whole mantra that time travel causes more problems than it solves. And how practical would a gigantic flying train really be for a time machine, anyway?

(2b) His other stated reason for visiting the future. Doc says, "After all, I had to come back for Einstein." But... Einstein is already right there in the train as he says this. So... he came forward in time for Einstein, then went back to the past and then back again to 1985 to see Marty?

So, I left this ending off.

EDIT: According to TV Tropes, the date 12 Nov 1955 was given (in a deleted scene) to old Biff by his mechanic friend who (somehow) remembered the exact date of the infamous manure incident. OK, I guess that makes sense...

(3) For those who haven't seen the documentaries/deleted scenes/directors' commentaries, old Biff fades away shortly after returning to 2015, due to having been killed by his wife Lorraine in the 1990's; thus he was erased (dramatic pause) from existence. Anyway, I showed his (temporary) death as upon his return to 2015.

Note that, although the movies are primarily the story of Marty McFly, this chart is primarily the story of the DeLorean time machine. It starts with its construction, and ends with its destruction. The x-axis represents chronological time, and the y-axis represents (roughly) narrative time. Thus, there is no real room for proximity of characters, which is the primary goal of xkcd-657's five movie charts. Also, the chart attempts to show the occupants of the DeLorean during each time jump, but in several cases I do not bother to show characters exiting the DeLorean just to reenter it later, if this didn't seem crucial to the plot to me.

One interesting tidbit: at some point during the day of Saturday 12 November 1955, there were not only four DeLoreans present in Hill Valley simultaneously; there were also ... somewhere ... the raw materials which would someday be used to make the DeLorean.

Cheers.
Last edited by mathmannix on Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:29 pm UTC, edited 12 times in total.
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orthogon
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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby orthogon » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:15 pm UTC

Nice.
mathmannix wrote:Spoilered for length

Not spoilered for spoilers though? ;-) (If you think that's unreasonable, remember I was the guy who complained about somebody spoiling 2001: ASO...)
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Adam H
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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby Adam H » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:43 pm UTC

DennisL wrote:I would freaking love to see one of these charts for the TV version of Game of Thrones, updated after each season

I'm going to start working on this. If someone else also wants to do it, let me know so we don't duplicate our efforts. :)
-Adam

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PayasYouDraw
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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby PayasYouDraw » Tue May 06, 2014 10:14 am UTC

mathmannix wrote:
TrueNarnian wrote:Can you do one for "Back to the Future?"


OK, here's my attempt.
BTTF.png


(1b) Example: When Old (2015) Biff stole the time machine, all we know is that he travelled to Saturday 12 November 1955 to give himself the machine. (I always speculated that he saw that date in some history log of time jumps made, although it wouldn't have been the immediate "where you last were" date. However, then Doc could have just checked the log himself later to see when Biff went. We probably have to go with Doc's speculation that it was either a "junction point for the entire space-time continuum," or else just "an amazing coincidence.") Biff could have traveled to many different times in history, and - as he is not shown using the machine in 1955 to either arrive or depart - he may have arrived earlier and/or stayed later than this date. However, I have assumed in my chart that he spent a small amount of time, maybe an hour, in the past.

Cheers.


That's a great chart. It's not immediately obvious how it could be done effectively. Well done.

On the bit I quoted, I always assumed that Biff chose that date because it was the day his life changed. Essentially everything was going well until George McFly knocked him out outside the dance. He had 60 years to become bitter about that day, so it seems obvious that he'd chose that moment to "put his life right", fix what had been done to him. It's also likely that he remembers the events of that day better, so he'd have a better chance of finding himself alone at home, and not have to go searching for himself or asking around in public. Biff isn't the smartest guy, so it wouldn't make sense to have him making a more convoluted plan, even if it could work out better.

Also, you've labelled Einstein (the dog) as the world's first time traveller, but it is arguably the Doc when he arrives in 1885 (before burying the DeLorean). :wink:
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mathmannix
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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby mathmannix » Tue May 06, 2014 1:48 pm UTC

PayasYouDraw wrote:On the bit I quoted, I always assumed that Biff chose that date because it was the day his life changed. Essentially everything was going well until George McFly knocked him out outside the dance. He had 60 years to become bitter about that day, so it seems obvious that he'd chose that moment to "put his life right", fix what had been done to him. It's also likely that he remembers the events of that day better, so he'd have a better chance of finding himself alone at home, and not have to go searching for himself or asking around in public. Biff isn't the smartest guy, so it wouldn't make sense to have him making a more convoluted plan, even if it could work out better.


Thanks. And as I mentioned, apparently the makers of the film made a scene (I vaguely remember it; I need to rewatch the deleted scenes!) where Biff's mechanic friend (Terry) tells him in 2015 (both of them in their late 70's) about that date just before Biff took the time machine, so it was fresh in his memory. I accept the deleted scenes as canon - they clear a lot of nitpicks up!

The second movie really changed the characterization of Biff. Whereas in the first movie he was a boozing bully, apparently capable of date rape (which probably wasn't really a crime in 1955), in the second (and third) movie he became much darker, and capable of murder. All his new scenes - including his "What the hell..." when he sees the flying DeLorean, his "It's you and me, Lorraine ... it's meant to be!" back in 1955, and his only lines in Part III (when he is behind Marty's truck at the end) - are much darker, at least when he's not pretending to be a nice subservient car-detailer. Really makes you wonder why George kept him around in the fixed 1985 timelines, or if he would have if he really knew what Biff was capable of.
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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby speising » Tue May 06, 2014 1:58 pm UTC

it's marty's fault! his intervention traumatized an average high school bully and turned him into a supervillain!

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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Tue May 06, 2014 4:03 pm UTC

speising wrote:it's marty's fault! his intervention traumatized an average high school bully and turned him into a supervillain!

I thought his original adult version was also an asshole...

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mathmannix
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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby mathmannix » Tue May 06, 2014 5:41 pm UTC

Yeah, Original!Biff was definitely a slimo. He was George's supervisor, but made George do his reports for him. (I'm not sure it's ever said what their occupation was.) He borrowed George's car, got into an accident (while drinking!) and expected George to pay for the cleaning bill for his shirt that he spilled his beer on, as well as being responsible for the auto insurance (although that one would be George's legal responsibility. Never let anyone you don't trust drive your car, kids.) And he had the creepy line "say hello to your mom for me, kid." Was he willing to kill George in order to get Lorraine? That is debatable.
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Adam H
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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby Adam H » Fri May 16, 2014 12:38 am UTC

Game of Thrones (show spoilers up to about S4E5):
Spoiler:
Game-of-Thrones-Narrative-C.png

Not the prettiest or clearest or most complete, but overall I'm pretty happy with it. :)

I took the show as canon instead of the books because the show is more popular and the main characters move around a bit more.
-Adam

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freezeblade
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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby freezeblade » Fri May 16, 2014 4:19 pm UTC

Adam H wrote:spoilered chart awesomeness


Awesome. Also. "demon baby attack" :lol:
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Arcorann
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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby Arcorann » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:25 am UTC

The ABC did a narrative chart today encompassing each of the Star Wars original and prequel trilogy movies. They're quite detailed, and one can see a noticeable increase in complexity for the prequels compared to the original movies.

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Re: 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts"

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:44 am UTC

The first item in the latest of BBC Radion 4's "More Or Less" goes through the journey speeds in LOTR, which may interest people. (I'm not sure if that's geofenced for online listening, but I think there's a full downloadable podcast too, still. Haven't checked, as I'm far from up-to-date on that part of their output.)


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